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Article published 14/07/2022

Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) met on Monday 5 July for the fourth time this year. At the meeting they covered a number of areas, including feedback from the Chair’s recent meeting with the Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, and an update from the Scottish Government.

In his report on the meeting with the Minister, EIAG Chair Peter Duthie confirmed he had highlighted ongoing challenges facing the industry, including significantly increased event delivery costs, supply chain issues, workforce and skills gaps, ticket sales and public confidence in returning to live events. The future outlook and priorities for the sector were also discussed, including action to tackle climate change and the transition to Net Zero. The Minister confirmed his support for the sector and his recognition of the important role events play in Scotland. He also confirmed his commitment to continued engagement with EIAG but highlighted the Government’s difficult funding position and how this limited the range and scope of further support currently available. 

Exterior of Scottish Parliament building

During the meeting, members also requested clarity from the Scottish Government regarding the current increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, and whether this would have a direct impact on the events sector in terms of mandatory measures. The Scottish Government reinforced that the focus was to continue highlighting existing guidance that is in place for businesses and the public to mitigate transmission risks across a range of settings, including events.

In their update, the Scottish Government provided further detail on the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) and an outline of the process and timeframe for review and refresh of Scotland’s national events strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage. NSET sets out the priorities for Scotland’s economy as the country recovers from coronavirus (COVID-19), delivers on net zero, tackles structural inequalities and seeks to grow. The ambition is to maximise the opportunities of the next decade to achieve a wellbeing economy that is "fairer, wealthier, and greener".

The future of the EIAG was also discussed. It was agreed that a discussion paper would be presented to members at the next meeting (1 September) regarding the future role and priorities for EIAG. 

Police Scotland representatives presented the work being done with events over the summer to promote the "Bystander" and "Ask for Angela" initiatives, plus associated training for event staff. Both initiatives are targeted at reducing the risk of violence against women and Police Scotland are keen engage with any event organiser looking for further information and support.

Please email [email protected] if you would like further information.

EventScotland provided an update on recent work, this included the conclusion of the last coronavirus (COVID-19) relief fund at the end of March, also the allocation of funding through the core event support programmes. Work remains ongoing to use and share the assets from the Buzz is Back campaign across events taking place over the summer.

Crowd watch live band performing

Alan Laidlaw, CEO of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, shared his experience and key learnings from delivery of the 200th Royal Highland Show earlier in the month. He highlighted excellent attendance and a very successful return for the show, both in-person and online, providing an important economic, social and cultural gathering for the agricultural community in Scotland. However, he confirmed that supply costs had significantly increased and were extremely unstable.  He also confirmed the shortage of key staff, contractors and suppliers, and expressed the need for the sector to ensure that the pressure on staff and budgets does not create welfare and safety concerns within the industry.  
Are you a representative from the sector?

Email [email protected] for further outputs from the group and to raise any points for future consideration.

The next meeting of the EIAG will take place on 1 September 2022.

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